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After sweeping Des Moines Hoover on Monday, the Ottumwa High baseball team thought a sweep over Indianola on Wednesday would give them the #3 seed in their substate tournament.

As it turns out, those games won’t get a chance to matter.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association announced the tournament pairings for both Class 3A and Class 4A Tuesday afternoon, and Ottumwa was given the #4 seed in its tournament.  In a quirk rather unique to the Iowa 4A baseball tournament, no team in the six-team bracket gets a first-round bye.  Instead, OHS will play at #3 seed Des Moines Lincoln, while #5 Urbandale travels to #2 West Des Moines Valley, and #1 Des Moines East hosts #6 Des Moines North.  After the first round, the highest-seeded team still alive will get a bye to the substate final, while the other two remaining teams will face off in a semifinal game.

(It’s worth noting that, in a traditional format, the top two seeds would have received first-round byes, with #3 hosting #6 and #4 hosting #5.  In that scenario, Ottumwa would have had a home game against Urbandale, instead of having to travel to Lincoln.)

The bracket currently says Ottumwa will play at Des Moines Lincoln on Friday, July 19th at 7:00.  The time is likely to be changed, however, since Lincoln’s home field does not have lights.

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